In the end, North Platte’s depth turned out to be the best asset for the girls team.
Three of four relay teams for the Panthers qualified for the Class 2 Missouri State Track and Field Championships with top-four efforts in the Class 2 Sectional 4 meet Saturday, May 14 in Albany, Mo. They didn’t have any champions, nor any individual qualifiers after finishing fifth at state in the team standings a year ago.
The 4x400 of Maddie Lee, McKenna Fulton, Gracie Roach and Erin Manville came in third at 4 minutes, 21.02 seconds — the best showing for a District 7 qualifier. The 4x200 of Roach, Manville, Emmie Lee and Brittney Gerling snuck into the state field at 1:53.29, edging Lathrop by just more than a tenth of a second.
The 4x800 Fulton, Maddie Lee, Manville and Lauren Payne also came in fourth.
West Platte’s girls were even better, winning a sectional title to go with last week’s district crown. The team of Rachel Heili, Sikoya Richard, Lea Moose and Lindsay Goodwin went 10:26.91 — not much off of the season-best set at District 7.
In addition, the 4x400 of Ciara Davies, Heili, Richard and Goodwin qualified with a fourth-place effort, coming in comfortably with a fourth place finish.
Richard and Davies also grabbed individual spots at sectionals. A sophomore, Richard again finished ahead of Heili, another sophomore, in the 800 to grab the fourth and final spot in that event with a time of 2:33.85. Davies nabbed fourth in the 400 at 1:03.84.
West Platte’s Sydney Oberdiek advanced in the shot put and discus, finishing third and second in those events respectively. A state medalist in both throws last year, Oberdiek threw 110 feet, 6¾ inches in the discus, while putting up a 34-4 effort in the shot put.
On the boys side, the lone state qualifiers came in distance events.
Daniel Cicha, a senior, nabbed his elusive berth with a fourth-place finish in the 1,600 at 4:53.63 — just back of Marceline’s Alex Cupp and just in front of Summit Christian’s Micah Ruiz Esparza in a tight finish. Cicha also ran on the fourth place 4x800 team with Andrew Cicha, Max Davies and Dylan Lock.
North Platte’s boys did not have any state qualifiers.
Both teams experienced near-misses.
North Platte’s girls 4x100 team came in fifth a quarter of a second out of a top-four spot, nearly giving the Panthers all four relays a state berth. Roach cleared 4-10 in the high jump and tied for fourth but lost out on the final state spot on the tiebreaker criteria.
West Platte’s Lea Moose was fifth in the 3,200 just as Heili ended up fifth in the 800. In the shot put, West Platte’s Jessica Lintner (32-3) and Mackenze Daniel (31-4) were fifth and sixth, respectively.
On the boys side, Davies was sixth in the 1,600, while Daniel Cicha and Andrew Cicha went 5-6 in the 3,200.
North Platte’s best finishes were senior Eric Brown in the triple jump (sixth) and the 4x400 of Caleb Crumley, Van French, William Morse and Corbin Green (sixth) — a team of all sophomores.